The reaction to the Vodafone announcement that it has strike a deal with Apple to release the iPhone in 10 countries: Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey, was a mix bag of haters, be-littler and fan-boy. The iPhone arriving in Asia had been anticipated for some time. The latest is definitely good news for all the countries mentioned in the Vodafone press release.
As we all know, Vodafone has one of the largest worldwide mobile network, and has 3G coverage in many of them.
Whether Vodafone waited for the 3G version of the iPhone before signing the deal with Apple, no one really knows for sure accept the parties in these talks. Whether Apple will retire the 2.5G version of the iPhone is also a speculation.
No matter which country you're in, there are consumers who are happy with the speed and capabilities of a 2.5G network iPhone, and there are ones who need and want to pay for a 3G network iPhone. Ironically, the only exception being the United States, as 3G coverage is not that prevalent in North America.
Critics; particularly the Americans, should step back and recognize that Apple is aiming at the global mobile phone market and not just United States.
As for the original rumors about the iPhone's Asian launch, the stages are: India --> Australia/New Zealand --> Taiwan --> Hong Kong --> China.
Personally living in Hong Kong, should make me feel like a second class citizen; in this case 3rd or even 4th. But I am not disappointed, because like the thousands of iPhone users in Hong Kong, we are happily using our jailbroken/unlocked iPhone on every local carrier network since June 2007. Like most early adopters, will continue to do so until the 3G network version comes out, which I will upgrade to... anyone likes to buy an used iPhone?